A Multi-Use Coat for Refugees
Today, there are many refugees from Syria and elsewhere who have had to flee their homes and travel to safety in other countries with just the clothes on their backs. Aid organizations are overwhelmed, and many refugees end up sleeping outside for weeks while waiting to be processed. Interior design students at the Royal College of Arts in the United Kingdom took part in a hack-a-thon to find a solution to refugees waiting outside without shelter. A hack-a-thon is a perfect example of the collaboration, the “teams of creators” that Gardner refers to in Creating Minds. About ten students worked together to “generate novel ideas and pursue them” (Lubart & Sternberg 271).
They ultimately designed an item that will provide temporary shelter for refugees. They used a waterproof material called Tyvek to create a garment that can be used as a coat, sleeping bag, or tent. The coat has handy pockets for important papers and personal items, the sleeping bag retains body heat, and the tent can hold one adult and two children. Their wearable shelter clearly has the “utility and usefulness” that Simonton refers to in his chapter on genius. The product was inspired by origami, which shows that the designers used analogical reasoning (Morrison 2016). Both origami paper and the garment can be folded different ways to be different things. The convertible garment is quick and affordable to mass-produce, and also sustainable. The Tyvek fabric is insulated and resists tearing. An online fundraiser is underway to get this product ready before next winter. This creative invention is an example of addressing a problem with a useful answer (Morrison 2016). According to Dr. Harriet Harriss, one of the professors involved, design “has a social heart,” and “needs to show a bigger social commitment to these kinds of problems.” The creators of this garment
Image from <http://www.mycoolbin.com/2016/02/11/3-in-1-shelter-turns-from-coat-to-tentsleeping-bag-in-seconds/>
Europe-Migrants/Wearable Shelter. Perf. Matthew Stock. 3-in-1 'wearable Shelter' for Syrian Refugees. Info News, 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 20 Feb. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAF2UgdiGKI>.
Gardner, Howard. "Preface to the 2011 Edition." Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. New York: Basic, 2011. Xix. Print.
Lubart, Todd L., and Robert J. Sternberg. "An Investment Approach to Creativity: Theory and Data." N.p.: n.p., n.d. 271. Print.
McLean, Laird D. "Organizational Culture’s Influence on Creativity and Innovation: A Review of the Literature and Implications for Human Resource Developmen." Advances in Developing Human Resources 7.2 (2005): n.
Morrison, Robert, PhD. "What Is Creativity and How Can We Study It?" Chicago. 27 Jan. 2016. Lecture.
Morrison, Robert, PhD. "Creative Mechanisms” Chicago. 17 Feb. 2016. Lecture.
Simonton, Dean K. "Genius." N.p.: n.p., n.d. 494. Print.
Turner, Terry. "Students Design Refugee Coat That Becomes Tent, Sleeping Bag - Good News Network." Good News Network. N.p., 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 20 Feb. 2016. <http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/refugee-coat-tent-convertible/>.